Extremely slow fireball puzzled astronomers

On September 16, hundreds of eyewitnesses across Scotland, Northern Ireland and the northern part of England witnessed the appearance of an unusual fireball that lit up the night sky. Of course, the appearance of a bright meteor is a spectacular phenomenon that has long had a scientific explanation and does not raise questions about its origin. But this fireball still managed to puzzle astronomers.

A big fireball in the sky of Scotland. Photo: Yahoo News

“It remains unclear whether it was a meteor or a piece of space debris,” says Aine O’Brien, a doctoral student at the University of Glasgow and a member of the British Meteor Observation Alliance. The fireball was visible in the sky for 10-20 seconds – an unusually long period of time for a meteor. But during the flight, it was seen how the fireball began to shatter in the night sky, which indicated that it was a space rock. According to the scientist, most fireballs are observed for only a few seconds. For example, a meteorite that fell in central England last year flew in the sky for seven seconds.

The fireball was spotted around 10:00 p.m. local time. The relatively early hour and clear night sky meant that many saw the fireball even in major cities such as Glasgow. Many of those who managed to spot the meteor shared videos from mobile phones and even door surveillance cameras on social networks.

“The observed object has the properties of both a meteor and space debris. Our experts process the footage and calculate its trajectory. Now we can only guess what it was. In any case, it was an amazing event,” O’Brien said.

Richard Kucharek, founder of the British meteor observation network, suggested that according to the initial assessment of the group, it was space debris. “Judging by the videos taken by the public, it seems that it is moving much slower than a meteor,” the expert explained.

Sis Verbeek, president of the International Meteor Organization, said their team received more than 800 reports on their website from eyewitnesses. The information obtained was used to compile a possible trajectory of the fireball. According to preliminary data, the fireball flew over the Northern Channel separating Scotland and Northern Ireland, and ended its journey somewhere over an island off the west coast of Scotland.

Earlier we reported that a meteorite from another star system fell to Earth.

According to CNN

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